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Last step leading to blood cell formation elucidated
Date:4/1/2009

m, Dr. Schroeder and PhD student Hanna Eilken were able to detect several very rare endothelial cells that indeed transformed themselves into blood cells.

"As a next step, we will focus on the identification of molecules that regulate the specification of blood cells," Dr. Schroeder went on to say. "Ultimately, our objective is to understand the precise molecular mechanisms. Identifying the exact cell type generating blood cells is an important prerequisite for understanding what combination of molecules makes a cell a blood cell."

Besides giving more insight into the mechanisms of blood formation, the findings of this just-published study are important for improving production of blood cells in the laboratory for clinical therapies. A possible in vitro production of unlimited numbers of blood cells from embryonic stem cells holds great promise for new therapy approaches. However, to enable targeted, efficient and pure production of specific blood cells that are safe for clinical therapy, it is essential to precisely understand the necessary differentiation steps. Dr. Schroeder concluded: "Our study has now elucidated the last of these steps."

Directed by Professor Magdalena Gtz, the Institute of Stem Cell Research at Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen combines research on stem cells of the nervous system, the hematopoietic system and of the endoderm. Especially in view of clinical applications, the objective of the Institute is to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for the specification of stem cells in order to utilize these in a targeted manner to repair damaged cells.


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Contact: Sven Winkle
sven.winkler@helmholtz-muenchen.de
0049-893-187-3946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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